Chase Field – Arizona Diamondbacks
Celebrating 20 Years in The Valley of the Sun
The Valley of the Sun has been associated with Major League baseball since the late 1940s – the valley is host to 15 MLB teams during the Cactus League (spring training for Major League Baseball), which reportedly brings in $300 million per year of economic investment to the Phoenix area. However, for the last 20 years, the Phoenix area has also been home to a Major League team, the Arizona Diamondbacks; the Diamondbacks play at Chase Field, located in downtown Phoenix.
Chase Field was designed with a retractable cover, which allows fan comfort, but also the maintenance of a natural grass playing surface. Chase Field, originally named Bank One Ballpark, became the first stadium in the United States with a retractable roof over a natural-grass playing surface. The seating capacity is presently at 48,686, with field dimensions of 330ft down the lines, 374ft in the power alleys, 407ft to straight away center, and a small area of 413ft in deep left center field.
Chase Field has served as host to the World Series, as the Dbacks became World Series Champions in 2001, and the venue has also hosted the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, as well as early round games of the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2013. In addition, the facility is also converted into a football field during the winter for the NCAA Cactus Bowl.
Food & Beverage 5
Chase Field keeps with today’s common thread of extreme, over-the-top food and beverage menus. Some may even say they are the front runners of unique items since the Diamondbacks unleashed their own extreme concessions item, the D-Bat Dog, following the introduction of the Boomstick by the Texas Rangers. The $25 D-Bat Dog is an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon. In fact, both of these organizations annually announce new food items for the year before Opening Day – the Diamondbacks introduced 4 new items before Opening Day in 2018, including the Asada dog, Steak and Ale Tots, Fried Chicken Bahn Mi, and the Curd & Q Burger. The location and description of these items can be found here.
Most of concessions at Chase Field are from outside restaurant vendors such as America’s Taco Shop, Streets of New York Pizza, Dutch Bros, Paradise Valley Burger Company, and Chicago’s famous Portillo’s. In addition, Gonzo’s Grill in the outfield serves various cuts of Tyson’s Chicken, and the most noticeable and popular vendor is Friday’s Sports Grill restaurant located in left field, a place where fans can reserve a table while watching the Diamondbacks in action.
A couple specialty items (besides the ones mentioned earlier) are the Chicken Enchilada Dog, an 18-inch chicken enchilada sausage topped with queso blanco, enchilada sauce, pico de Gallo, black olives, sour cream and tortilla chips served on a telera roll, or the Bacon Wrapped Pretzel Baguette stuffed with ham and swiss cheese, and served with honey mustard and roasted jalapeno ranch on the side. These two specialty items cost $16 and $25 dollars respectively, so they aren’t exactly for everyone’s wallet. However, the ballpark’s food menu serves every person’s diet, even vegan, at Taste of Chase. Here, vegan fans have a choice of two items, the Vega Burger ($10) or the Sonoran Vegan Burger ($11) – the Sonoran Vegan Burger is topped with vegan pepper jack cheese, soy chorizo, chipotle vegan mayonnaise, cowboy caviar, and guacamole served on a wheat bun.
The alcohol beverage selection at Chase field is also countless, with a large selection of beers varying from national brands to local craft brews – any beer from Four Peaks Brewery is a good choice for craft beer lovers. Besides beer, however, several stands offer frozen drinks and wine – the blackberry margarita ($12) made with Roger Cline’s Moonshine Tequila is a great choice. Prices for alcoholic beverages range between $10-$15, while the soft drink choices for the Arizona Diamondbacks are Pepsi products, with prices running $6 for the regular and $7.50 for the souvenir cup.
There are plenty of sweets throughout the concourses, with Sweet Treats serving frozen yogurt in a helmet, cup, or cone. But the best item is the Churro Dog, a split white iced doughnut topped with a churro in the middle, topped with frozen yogurt, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. The Churro Dog 2.0 is available as well; this delicacy is rolled with Oreo crumbs, strawberry topping, frozen yogurt, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and then topped with more Oreo crumbles.
To my surprise, the concessions at Chase Field are more expensive than the normal overpriced ballpark items, but there is an option for frugal Diamondbacks fans. The Doubleheaders concessions stands offers a $2 value menu, which features hot dogs, small sodas, chocolate milk, and popcorn – the sizes here are much smaller than the usual items at regular price, but these smaller versions work well for a snack during the game; Doubleheaders is definitely a great choice on the wallet. In addition, Chase Field security allows fans to bring in bottled water and snacks if they are not opened, and there are vendors surrounding Chase Field for that last-minute pick up bottled water, peanuts, or popcorn.
The pre-game festivities at Chase Field can be found outside the stadium at APS Solar Pavilion. APS Solar Pavilion is a 17,000-square foot plaza along 4th Street, which is covered by solar panels to protect fans from Arizona’s sun, while also charging their electric cars; the Diamondbacks ticket office and the main entrances to Chase Field are in the same location as the pavilion. Under the pavilion, fans can enjoy meeting friends and family, take a few photos, and have the option for face painting or listening to some music. The Game Seven Grill is part of the plaza – this restaurant provides a food and drink option before the game, and also is an area to play games such as cornhole.
In addition, there are plenty of pre-game attractions to visit inside Chase Field to go along with the outdoor activities. The Arizona Diamondbacks have set up specialty fan sections to maximize fan interaction throughout the ballpark, such as the PetSmart Patio in left field, the Coors Strike Zone in right field, and the Sandlot on the upper concourse. The Sandlot is a kids area complete with a jungle gym, and is home to the Diamondbacks mascot, Baxter the Bobcat – Baxter is available for photos at the Sandlot in the fourth inning. Also, Friday’s Front Row, which features patio seating that overlooks the field, is in left field like at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. But Chase Field’s signature is the swimming pool and hot tub in right field.
The Diamondbacks scoreboard in center field is highly visible from all locations for fans; the scoreboard measures 46 feet high by 136 feet wide. This scoreboard provides game statistics, replays, and entertainment between innings. The Dbacks also honor local heroes and teams during the game – the Diamondbacks have their own version of the Texas Rangers Legends Race in the fifth inning. The Legends Race includes caricatures of Diamondback legends Randy Johnson, Mark Grace, Luis Gonzalez, and Matt Williams, and these legends race around the warning track from the right field foul pole to home plate. After the race, they are available for photo opportunities.
Here at Chase Field, the fans do what they can as far as being loud, but the lack of attendance in such a spacious ballpark hurts the effort. When filled to capacity, Chase Field can be a great home field advantage as it was for the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks during their championship year, but otherwise the Dbacks atmosphere is on par with the rest of Major League Baseball.
Chase Field is in downtown Phoenix nestled between N. 7th Street and S. 4th Street, near the Phoenix Convention Center and Talking Stick Resort Arena. One advantage of a downtown ballpark is that there is plenty of lodging in the area – Westin Phoenix Downtown, Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix, Hotel Palomar, and Sheraton-Phoenix are all a short walk from Chase Field. These hotels can be expensive, however, depending on the time of year, as Phoenix is very popular for business conferences. The Sky-Harbor Airport hotels are close enough, though, if you like to stay away from downtown, and the Valley Metro connects nearby cities such as Tempe, Mesa, and Glendale, so those areas are options as well when deciding on lodging.
Just as the lodging around Chase Field is abundant, so are the restaurants. Just outside the entrance to APS Pavilion is the Game Seven Grill, and across the street are Coach’s Corner Grill and Sliders. In addition, if you walk a block west on Jefferson, near Talking Stick Resort Arena you will find Hard Rock Café and Arrogant Butcher.
Phoenix’s downtown area has plenty of attractions within walking distance of Chase Field. The Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Symphony Hall, Arizona Center, and the Children’s Museum of Arizona are all near Chase Field and the downtown lodging. In addition, Phoenix is the capital city for Arizona, and the Arizona State Capitol is a welcoming place to visit. Fans that want to get away from the downtown amenities, however, can find hiking and climbing trails located in the mountains that surround Phoenix. However, please research the trails, bring plenty of water, and go with an experienced person, as every year hikers are stranded on trails.
Other options while in the area include visiting the city of Scottsdale, which is a great day trip for tourists who don’t want to leave the valley. And for the avid golfer, there are golf courses all around the Phoenix area, from Talking Stick Golf Club (along with a casino/hotel) to San Marcos Resort in Chandler, to Arizona State’s Karsten Golf Course in Tempe. These courses are located a short drive from downtown, as is the Desert Botanical Garden, which is a popular spot for nature lovers. Phoenix is a tourist destination for many, and Chase Field is in the heart of everything The Valley of the Sun offers visitors.
There are plenty of empty seats inside Chase Field during baseball games – the Arizona Diamondbacks only averaged 26,350 fans per game last season (2017). This 50% fill rate inside the facility has been a common scene over the past decade, and ranks the team in the bottom third of the major league teams in terms of attendance. However, the fans are polite and welcoming to visiting fans – because most residents are transplanted from other states, this could be due to the large number of retirees in the Phoenix area. But overall the fans are average – they know when to cheer, and are on cue with the scoreboard, but aren’t over the top.
Chase Field is very accessible, as the ballpark is in downtown Phoenix at 401 E. Jefferson Street. The ballpark is located between 4th and 7th Streets, near the Phoenix Convention Center and Talking Stick Resort Arena, and this area of downtown has close and easy access to both Interstate 10 and Interstate 17. There are plenty of parking garages located near the venue, and the cost of parking isn’t too unreasonable at $10. However, there is free parking available on the south side of the ballpark towards Buchanan and Lincoln Streets for the early bird arrivals. However, the biggest advantage of a downtown ballpark is the public transportation – Phoenix’s Metro Light rail system has a stop right outside Chase Field’s front entrance (check out the Metro website for detailed information to plan your trip to Chase Field).
If you don’t want to drive or ride, Uber is the official rideshare partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This partnership allows fans to use special promo codes to activate discounted rides to and from Chase Field throughout the season – the Uber pick-up and drop-off location is at Washington and 5th Street, only a short walk away from the ballpark.
The main entrance for Chase Field is located near the box office and Game Seven Grill. Fans enter Chase Field through doors that go into the lower concourse that circles the entire field – this concourse could easily become tight with large crowds, but with the average game crowd here of late, the concourse is easy to navigate throughout the ballpark, and there is plenty of signage pointing to the different sections and seating levels. One positive note is that all the seats at Chase Field are angled towards the infield, which helps with fan comfort in the plastic seats. Avoid sitting in the upper deck, however, if you don’t like steep sloped seating, although there isn’t a bad view from the upper level.
All in all, access for baseball games at Chase Field is above average for Major League ballparks. However, for those that may need more, Chase Field has accessible parking and seating integrated throughout the ballpark. For more information on the extra assistance available, visit the Diamondbacks website; this site will help you plan your visit to Chase Field.
Return on Investment 4
The average Phoenix temperature during baseball season is between 87 and 107 degrees, so the idea of being indoors with air-conditioning is perfect, and this is what you will get at Chase Field during a Diamondbacks game.
Dbacks tickets are like other baseball teams in that they use the flex-pricing system; Los Angeles Dodgers tickets are the most expensive opponent, ranging between $16 and $165. However, tickets for other opponents start as low as $13, with most seats priced $50 or less. There is also free parking available if you arrive a couple of hours prior to the game, and the cost of the typical overpriced ballpark concessions can be cut to a minimum, since fans can bring drinks and snacks in from outside the ballpark – there are plenty of vendors along Jefferson Street offering water, popcorn and peanuts. Please view this link to see the Diamondbacks’ policy for items brought into Chase Field.
Overall, a day at Chase Field will be as expensive as your desires dictate, but is well below the average for Major League Baseball.
Unique features such as the retractable roof and the signature swimming pool shows that Chase Field was built with fan comfort in mind.
For example, the 20th anniversary of the Arizona Diamondbacks produced an exhibit room in the center field concourse area – this exhibit room is a great place for fans to relive or learn about the short history of the Diamondbacks. Visitors can view the Dbacks 2001 World Series trophy, Dbacks Golden Gloves and Silver Sluggers awards, artifacts from the MLB All Star game, as well as other historic items on display. The Diamondbacks franchise also has two retired numbers for Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez, which are displayed on the right field façade, while notable Phoenix natives Joe Garagiola and Joe Black are honored the left facade; most people know the legendary Joe Garagiola, but Joe Black was the first African-American pitcher to win a World Series game.
Chase Field is a pioneer in retractable-roof facilities that led the way to ballparks in Milwaukee, Houston, and Miami – the structural engineering behind Chase Field has allowed Major League Baseball to give fans an enjoyable experience without the harsh weather elements. The swimming pool continues to be Chase Field’s signature feature, but celebrating 20 Years of Major League Baseball in The Valley of the Sun, in a great tourist destination, is the best reason to visit Chase Field for a Diamondbacks game.
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Latest Crowd Reviews
The ballpark was not that impressive during my game, but tickets were 1 for the seats I had and parking included a frozen bottle of water to quench my thirst from the 120-degree heat. Perhaps things have gotten better since my last visit.
While there’s not a lot that changes year-to-year at Chase Field, not a lot really needs to change. The overall baseball experience is still one of the best there is. As things need to be replaced or upgraded, the Diamondbacks do it. You’re not going to run into something that doesn’t work or looks outdated at Chase Field. Enough can’t be said for how nice everyone is there as well, from the ushers all the way up the organization. And, of course, you’ll never have to wonder if there’s some kind of concession item that you’ve never seen or tried before.